Last Updated on August 3, 2021 by Jeremy
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Cocktail bars have a weird way of chasing us whenever we move to a new Pittsburgh neighborhood. When we left Squirrel Hill to move to Mount Washington, Hidden Harbor opened up one block away from our former apartment. When we left Mount Washington, the same happened with an old bar there turning into The Summit.
While we lament the fact that we could've lived just one block away from either of these wonderful cocktail bars, we have returned time and time again to enjoy their stellar creations all the same.
In this one, we wanted to share a bit more about what you can expect from The Summit as it is truly the premier cocktail bar on top of Mount Washington!
The Summit is a Stellar Bar on Mount Washington
Whenever we visit The Summit, we always have a bit of apprehension because we know choosing from their impressive cocktail spread is going to be tricky. On our most recent visit, the bar offered roughly a dozen cocktails split roughly equally between “Featured Cocktails” (what we'd call house creations) as well as “Summit Classic Cocktails” (which is their take on more classic options).
Naturally, we went for a mix of each- especially because the classic cocktails were on happy hour special at the time.
On the Featured Cocktails side, we went for Mephisto and the Daredevil. Mephisto featured a Mezcal base with hibiscus, Luxardo, Aperol, Maurin, lemon, Thai Chili Bitters and was topped with an edible candied hibiscus flower and Daredevil featured pineapple tepache, tequila, Aperol, egg white, yellow chartreuse, and lemon.
As you can imagine with the ingredient list, these could get out of balance in a hurry thanks to the smokiness of mezcal, acidity of lemon, and of course the intensity of some items like the bitters and yellow chartreuse. Thankfully, we thought these had a sublime balance of all of the flavors such that the intense components were in check and the subtle flavors still came out (hibiscus, we're looking at you).
We normally would like to equate house cocktails like these to well-known counterparts to give you an idea, but honestly, neither of these are comparable to anything else. You could make the argument that Mephisto tasted a lot like a flavored margarita, but that'd be a stretch. Daredevil may be like a flavored whiskey sour with egg white foam, but again, that is also a stretch.
Either way, we adored these cocktails not just because they were well balanced in flavors, but also because they were combinations we've, in all honesty, never had before.
After that round, we opted to jump to the Summit Classic Cocktails menu and went for a tried-and-true Old Fashioned made simply with Wild Turkey bourbon, cherry, orange, and bitters- a classic recipe if there ever was one. It came with a nice boozy punch from the bourbon but had those subtly sweet notes we love when it comes to Old Fashioneds. So if you aren't in the mood to stray into the more out-there house creations, the classic menu will hit you with a wonderful familiarity all the same.
Beyond cocktails, The Summit also has a modest draft beer list, wine selection, and canned/bottled beer program as well so if cocktails aren't your thing odds are good you'll find an option here all the same.
Our only regret is that our most recent visits to The Summit have been on Monday and Tuesdays where they historically have not offered their full kitchen food menu (including a mix of bar snacks, appetizers, small plates, a burger, tacos, and more). While we have fond memories of the menu in visits years ago, we do not think it is fair to recollect those in this review. As such, we'll update this one accordingly the next time we make it in when the dinner menu is available!
Overall, if you are in the mood for a great beverage on Mount Washington, you know where to head- The Summit checks all the right boxes for us!
The Summit is located at 200 Shiloh Street on Mount Washington.
Looking for more cocktail bars in Pittsburgh? Click the previous link to check out some of our favorites!